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Letter: Boater education law won’t fix the problems

I was quite pleased to read in the paper that Brianna’s law was adopted in New York. Mandated boater safety education has been a long time in coming, considering our crowded waterways and the amount of irresponsible boaters.

I am sure our governor thinks that his signature will save many lives. Unfortunately, just as most other laws, the intent is merely to make the voters think that our politicians are doing good things, while the reality is that their only concern is getting re-elected.

Although this new law was critically needed, it is just the same old fluff as the jet ski law that was enacted a few years ago. Few lives will be saved since the law exempts the people that cause the most damage.

If you own a motorized pleasure craft you now must pay more money to the state to be educated. If you rent a boat, or even a high-speed jet ski, there is no such requirement.

What are these legislators thinking? They must be clueless or have never been in a boat in their lives. The renters are the problem! With no responsibility for their actions or care about their craft, they are the ones that cause the accidents and they are the fatalities. We recently had a serious incident right here that killed one man and put the rental company out of business.

Now the new law exempts kayaks as well. I truly support their use, but what are they thinking when they traverse a crowded river on a Sunday, putting themselves in the middle of all the reckless boaters? To make matters worse, a large percentage of them ply the seas without even wearing a life jacket. They need the education just as much as the guy in the fishing boat with a small HP motor.

James Seufert


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